Post it Name Badge Adhesive Labels 2800 M 2800 N 2800 O from post it labels template , image source: big.first.name
post it labels template
It might seem to be a simple step. Simply open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to have a strong working name and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing procedure ~600 percent by producing a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the exact same procedure for every single new post I work . Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that is probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for the most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They are just Markdown files, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to compose. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of each gist to view the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot point with a few notes about what I need to write in that section. By the time I’m done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other well, since I understand the arrangement of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I had really planned to do a full rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so I put the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a solid idea about what each segment would comprise and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Though outlining took more than normal, drafting took time because I had set myself up for success. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It was quite a different process to the way I normally work, and I was tempted a couple of times to avoid the additional research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline properly. I often put off these things until I am drafting, and that’s when I should be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I have actually overhauled my outline and study procedure by applying this template. It is a more effective part of my process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, also.
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